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Support organic farming – Villar

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar has urged the government to enhance organic agriculture in the country, saying that the Philippines has an advantage in this area over its Association of Southeast Asian neighbors.

“We are an agricultural country, so we should be experts in matters pertaining to agriculture. We can use that expertise to become more competitive, because together with increased competition, AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) will also bring about more opportunities,” Villar said at the 16th National Convention-cum-Seminar Workshop of the League of the Municipal Agricultural Officers, Municipal/City Agriculturists of the Philippines in Pasay City recently.

Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, also noted that under Republic Act No. 10068 or the “Organic Agriculture Act of 2010,” at least five percent of Philippine agricultural farms will be converted into organic by this year.

The implementation of the National Organic Agriculture Program was boosted with the turn-over of Small Scale Composting Facilities to farmer-beneficiaries all over the country by the Bureau of Soils and Water Management.

At the moment, the Philippines ranks fourth among the leading Asian countries in terms of land devoted to organic agriculture, Villar cited.

Villar also urged farmers to produce their own organic fertilizers as inorganic pesticides and fertilizers are costly and will mean lesser income for them.

The lady senator also mentioned the organic fertilizer-making project which she started in Las Pinas City.

Using two methods, rotary composting and vermicomposting, composting centers were built in the barangays to convert kitchen and garden wastes into organic fertilizer.

There are 70 composters distributed, which presently serve 35,000 households. The organic fertilizers were distributed for free to farmers and vegetable gardeners.

“Ang pag-process ng mga kitchen at garden wastes into fertilizers ang isa rin sa dahilan bakit ang Las Pinas ay isa sa may pinakamaliit na garbage hauling expenses sa mga syudad sa Metro Manila,” she added.